Nathan Filer has won the Costa Book of the Year with The Shock of the Fall, his debut novel about loss, guilt and mental illness.
The book follows the experience of Matthew Holmes, a 19-year-old who is haunted after witnessing his brother’s death at a holiday park in Dorset.
Chairman of the judges author Rose Tremain said it was “astonishingly sure-footed” for a first novel.
Nathan Filer, 32, is a writer and lecturer in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.
He is a qualified mental health nurse and for many years worked for the mental health service in Bristol, where he still lives.
The Shock of the Fall was subject to an 11-way auction and bought by HarperCollins for a substantial six figure sum.
It was selected for BBC Radio 2’s Bookclub and a Specsavers National Book Award.
Filer’s stand-up poetry has been a regular fixture at festivals and spoken-word events across the UK, including Latitude, Port Eliot, and Wilderness. It has been broadcast on BBC 3 and BBC Radio 4, 7 and 5 Live.
He has also appeared at the Cheltenham Literature Festival and Hay Festival.
His 2005 comedy short film Oedipus won the BBC Best New Filmmaker Award and numerous other prizes.
Nathan was also the runner-up in the 2011 Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize.
The biennial Tibor Jones Pageturner Prize aims to unearth new and exciting writing, offering debut novelists an opportunity to showcase their talent. Tibor Jones & Associates, now more than ever, values the importance of emerging original fiction.